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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1897 :: Death of V.B. Orr

Dallas Morning News. Veteran Crosses Over. Was Member of Jeff Davis' Regiment in the Mexican War. 

Rockdale, Tex., Nov. 28. -- Mr. V.B. Orr died at his residence in this city yesterday evening at the age of 71 years. Deceased was a veteran of both the Mexican and confederate wars, having served through the Mexican war in in Jeff Davis' Mississippi regiment and in the confederate war in Col. H.L. Muldrow's regiment in the western army. He emigrated to Texas from Tuxilo, Miss., in 1882 and settled in Rockdale, which place he made his home up to the time of his death. He leaves a large family connection and a host of friends in this county. He was an honored member of the Knights of Honor and will be buried with the ceremonies of that society.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

1943 :: Funeral Home Burns

Dallas Morning News. November 26, 1943. Funeral Home Burns. Rockdale, Texas, Nov. 25 (AP). -- A fire of undetermined origin Thursday gutted Phillips & Luckey funeral home, causing damages estimated at $25,000. The house was filled with people, gathering for a funeral service when the fire broke out. No one was injured. Several bodies were carried to safety.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

1922 :: New High School

Dallas Morning News. November 6, 1922. Rockdale's New $75,000 High School Dedicated. Special to The News. Rockdale, Texas. Nov. 5. -- Although Rockdale's new $75,000 high school building has been completed and occupied by the faculty and pupils for several weeks, the house-warming under the auspices of the Parent-Teacher Association was not held until Thursday, when the new auditorium was more than filled by 500 persons, among them were Ben Loewenstein Sr. and the Rev. W.E. Copeland, who were members of the first Rockdale School Board, elected in 1888, and are the only survivors of that board. The first school building was erected in 1884. The Parent-Teacher Association was organized about a year ago. The old high school building had long since outgrown the scholastic needs of Rockdale. Bonds for the new building were voted by Rockdale people more than three years ago. Construction of the new building was delayed for more than two years in the Supreme Court because of the mandamus suit against the Attorney General, who had refused to approve the bonds, due to an election technicality. The mandamus suit was a friendly one.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

1960 :: Death of Johnny Horton

Dallas Morning News. November 6, 1960. Singer Dies In 2-Car Collision. Milano, Texas. (AP) -- Singer Johnny Horton, 30, who became famous for his recording of "The Battle of New Orleans," died as two cars collided head-on here Saturday.

The accident on an overpass here in Central Texas also injured guitarist Gerald D. Tomlinson, 30, of Shreveport, La., reported in serious condition; Tilman Franks, 46, also of Shreveport, who was Horton's manager, and James E. Davis, 19, of Brady, a Texas A&M student who was alone in the other car.

The injured were taken to a Cameron hospital. Franks and Davis were believed to have escaped serious injury. A doctor said Tomlinson suffered compound fractures of both legs and might lose one of them.

Horton was at the wheel as he and his companions left Austin, where he filled an engagement Friday night. He was en route to Shreveport to discuss plans for a movie.

The singer, a former star of the national radio program "Louisiana Hayride," originating in Shreveport, had made his home in the Louisiana city the past eight years. He was born in Hollywood, but spent most of his early life in Rusk.

Horton was the husband of Mrs. Billie Jean Horton, who was the wife of Western singer Hank Williams until his death from a heart attack in 1953.

Other survivors are the couple's two small daughters, Zanina and Melody; his step-daughter, Jerry Lynn, and his mother, Mrs. John L. Horton of Rusk.

The funeral service will be held in Shreveport. Arrangements were incomplete.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1895 :: The Cozy Corner

Dallas Morning News. November 3, 1895. The Cozy Corner. JESSIE WILBURN, Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After a few weeks' absence from among you I now take my seat to encourage all and I hope Mr. Big Hat will encourage me, providing I need any. I guess Peggy had a nice little time eating my other letter, as I never saw it in print, but hope to see this one published. This week appeared Bessie Bee. Mr. Big Hat and all the cousins will be so sorry to loose [sic] her for a year. Our school will commence Monday and I will be glad. We will have a new lady teacher this year. We have moved since I wrote last. I will describe my new home next time I write. Cousin Rudolph, come again, I think your letters are so interesting, especially when you write about hunting. Success to Mr. Big Hat and dear cousins.